I’m not a book reviewer but…

book

I feel I should start every review I write with the disclaimer: I’m not a reviewer and my review of this book is only my opinion and will be of absolutely no use to you.

I’m an expert reader and a practising writer but I don’t think either of those gifts qualify me to write a review on a book I have just read. I’m happy to give my opinion on lots of things – the new vacuum cleaner I just bought that really sucks. No, it really does. The awful meal I had at that restaurant last Saturday night; that expensive pair of tights that won’t stay up; and yes, the book I just read, but I wouldn’t call it a review in the true sense of the word. I don’t want to criticise or correct. It’s just my opinion and my opinion is most probably worthless to everyone else except me – apart from that meal last week because I know that everyone would have agreed with me that it was overheated, dried up and the pasta tasted as if it had been hanging around in the fridge for a week.

So what’s the point of a review? If enough people like a book does that make it good? What about the people who give this very same book a poor review. Is their opinion invalid just because they were outweighed by people who did like it? I like peanut butter – my husband hates it. I like autumn – my husband hates it. It’s just an opinion – a matter of personal taste. There are chefs who think it’s a crime to eat steak anything past medium rare. And wine experts who insist red wine should be served at room temperature. I’m here to tell you that red wine tastes just great straight out of the fridge and I like my steak to be a bit blackened round the edges. I’ve tried it both ways and made my choice – yours might be different but neither of us are wrong.

Now that I find myself a part of Amazon’s system I’ve been forced to accept that other people’s opinions do matter – at least they do as far as book sales go. The more reviews you get the higher profile your book gets and the higher that profile is the more likely you are to sell more books.

In the interest of furthering my knowledge I thought I should try writing a few reviews. Nothing serious. I wasn’t going to write a synopsis and an evaluation and sum it all up and give a recommendation at the end of it. I was just going to say whether I liked it.

This was fine for the first book because I loved it and I said as much. It was also ok for the second book. I loved that one, too, but the third book was different. I liked it a lot but would have preferred it to end differently. But that’s just my opinion and I don’t think I’ve got a right to say: you shouldn’t have ended your book like that so I’m deducting a couple of stars. Which brings me to the book I’m reading now. I’d reached 53% and went back to Amazon to check out the reviews (I wouldn’t recommend doing this) other people had written.
It had a lot – more good than bad but there were still a substantial amount of negative ones that were saying things like: It never went anywhere. The ending was ambiguous. How can you end a book like that? Oh no! Am I going to be disappointed? Nah, it’s only someone else’s opinion and that doesn’t mean diddly squat to me.

But, a funny thing came out of all this. I discovered that I enjoy reading the one star reviews. Some of them are more entertaining than the actual books (that’s not a review – just my opinion) and by far the most entertaining of the lot is the myriad of one star reviews for Fifty Shades of Grey. Go on, give it a try. It’ll make you giggle.

* If you’re at all interesting in the three books I mention reviewing above they are:

The Journal of Avery Moore by Michael R Hicks http://bookgoodies.com/a/B006CBK7F4
The Hermit by Shayne McClendon http://bookgoodies.com/a/B009POGE3E
Paint me a Picture by patsy Collins http://bookgoodies.com/a/B0094WFGHW

and I reviewed them on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7259971.Isabella_King

And, the one I’m reading now:

The Daughter by Jane Shemilt http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00KXJLU7K

* Anyone wanting to leave a review for any of my books is most welcome…good or bad – they don’t mean diddly squat to me. (actually they do but that’s a whole other story)

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